By Darlynn Morgan, Orange County Business Attorney

Starting and running your own business requires you to be something of a gambler.

Regardless of how much you plan, nothing is certain except that at least some of the million and one things you think can go wrong, will.

To balance your penchant for taking a few risks with the need to ensure the success of your business, you need to plan, get and follow good advice and, above all, don’t give up at the first sign of trouble.

These few steps will help you reduce  or control at least some of your risk:

1. Plan For The Worst-Possible Scenario

Most entrepreneurs are optimists.  They have to be or they would never think of going out on their own.  You go into business to succeed, not to fail.  But knowing that there is that small, ever so slight possibility that you could fail will prevent you from being complacent and making poor decisions.  A little fear will keep you sharp.  Plan exactly what you would do if the worst happened and you’ll know what to do if it does.

2. Don’t Do It Alone

If a carpenter measures twice and cuts once, make sure you think about your business decisions at least twice before jumping into anything.  Avoid being impulsive and analyze before you act.  If you’re not the analytical sort, find a trusted Orange County Business Attorney who is. Remember, a system of checks and balances isn’t just for the government.  Run your ideas or decisions by that trusted advisor and get another perspective.  Sometimes you’re just too close to the decision to make a good one.

3. Decide On and Develop Your Niche

In your heart of hearts you know what you’re good at, what you really care about and why you started this business to begin with.  Play to those strengths.  Don’t take every project that walks through the door just to have the work.  You’ll be much more successful and happier if you stick with what you know.

4. Increased Revenue Gets You There Every Time

If you are struggling, focus all your energy on increasing revenue and making sales instead of focusing tremendous energy on cutting costs.  Increasing revenue will allow you to hire the right team members to support your growth and keep you headed in a forward momentum.  If you focus heavily on cutting costs, it’s very easy to get stuck.

5. Get the Right Kind of Business Insurance

While there is a school of thought out there that says insurance is for pessimists, do yourself a favor and get insurance.  And get the right kind of insurance for your business.  It will reduce your personal risk and protect you from claims from the people you have to deal with on a daily basis.  Lawsuits can come from anywhere so keep that in mind when considering the type of insurance you need.

Reduce both your risk of sleepless nights and making costly mistakes by finding the right advisor to help you with the decisions you need to make your business a profitable one.  Hire a personal legal advisor.  Each of these 5 steps will be much easier and you will feel better about them if you talk them over with someone who can guide you in the right direction.  And remember, your legal advisor is a business person, too.  They can speak to your problems not only from a legal viewpoint but from experience.  They understand exactly what you need to do to be a success.

If you’re an independent entrepreneur or you’re considering taking the leap to business ownership, call us today to schedule your comprehensive LIFT™ (legal, insurance, financial and tax) Foundation Audit.  As your personal Orange County business attorneys we will identify any holes in the foundation of your business and what you need to do to fix them. Normally, this session is $1250, but if you mention this article and we still have room on our calendar this month, we will waive that fee.  Simply call (949) 260-1400 to reserve your spot.